Germany smarting ahead of France showdown
‘Tomorrow we want to make up for the things we messed up on’
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stretches during his team’s training session in Saint-Denis. Germany will face France in their UEFA Nations League group A match on Tuesday night. Photograph: EPA
Germany coach Joachim Löw warned world champions France his side have “learned a few things” from their “painful” Nations League defeat to the Netherlands ahead of Tuesday night’s clash in Paris.
Germany head to Saint-Denis bottom of League A Group One following a 3-0 reverse in Amsterdam on Saturday.
Löw hit out at his players for “breaking apart” against the Dutch, conceding two late goals which leaves Germany having failed to score in three competitive matches for the first time in their history.
Les Blues, who fought back to draw 2-2 with Iceland in a friendly on Thursday, are top of the Nations League group as they aim to close up on progress through to the finals.
Löw, however, maintains the fallen giants can quickly lift themselves again for the challenges ahead.
“We have learned a few things from the match against the Netherlands. Tomorrow we want to make up for the things we messed up on,” the German coach said .
“Of course this defeat was painful for all of us — me, the staff, the players and especially the supporters. At the same time, it’s not really surprising. After the World Cup, we started a process in which we knew there would be defeats.”
Löw, without injured Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng because of a calf problem, added: “It’s obvious that we need to stick together.
“Above all, it was important to pick the team up again and take the right steps for tomorrow.”
France winger Florian Thauvin will miss Tuesday’s match with a foot problem. Les Blues coach Didier Deschamps, who turned 50 on Monday, faced questions over comments from Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, who has announced the end of his international career.
The 33-year-old missed France’s World Cup triumph in Russia as he recovered from an Achilles injury — and felt “disappointed” by a lack of regular contact from Deschamps or his former Les Bleus team-mates.
Deschamps said on Monday afternoon: “I understand this huge disappointment. After, when he talks about relationships, I was surprised (by the comments) like all my staff.
“At one point they all sent messages of support. I called him after his injury, I talked with him, even about his choice of surgeon. I invited him, if he wished, to spend time with us during the preparation (for the World Cup).
“I asked him come to the final on the presidential plane because I thought it was very important that he be there, even though I know it was difficult (for him).
“In September, when it was his birthday, I got in touch with him, to find out how he was. At least I did that, I could have done more.”
Deschamps confirmed he had a “brief exchange” with the Arsenal defender following the news on Sunday night.
“It will not change what I think of Lolo as a player and as a man. He is someone with good values,” the France coach added.
Captain Hugo Lloris, the Tottenham goalkeeper, also expressed empathy for Koscielny’s situation.
“We thought hard about him during the competition (at the World Cup),” Lloris said. “He was an important player on the team, an important person also because we have a lot of respect for him.”